James knew I had packed my usual quality sandwiches from Franco bakery. After an action packed morning catching countless rod bending Kahawai that were herding anchovy into bays on the Northern side of Waiheke, he enquired as to wether there was a more creative “waiheke ” lunch option.
James was a very competent and experienced angler, his next journey was to be a return to the Seychelle Islands to catch Giant Trevally. James was warming up on our hard fighting Kahawai and pushed the Sage “Salt” and Method rods to extreme limits! In the hands of a knowledgable angler these rods love to bend deep into the handle. Without giving line James was working hard to run around the boat and land these hard scraping fish in very short time. I soon realised he knew what he was doing and enjoyed the show.
In celebration of a great mornings angling for James and no broken rods, I devised a plan to anchor the boat off Oneroa beach and do a quick stroll upto the Oyster Inn. My wife Carmen was called for a quick heads up on what Waiheke wine we should order and a fantastic lunch of Ribs and John Dory was partnered with a Pinot Grigio from Poderi Crisci as the Chardonay was not available. James remarked on the Wines mineral tones, I thought it was nice.
I do not hide my lack of full appreciation and knowledge about wine and thankfully have Carmen to rely on.
The afternoon session had us do some more rod bending ,with one particular Kahawai punctuating our post lunch glow with a stunning visual hit on a crease fly and then an excellent fight, this fish was 63cm long and was packed full of anchovy.
As we drifted into some shallow reef I instructed James to suspend the fly for a long pause.A snapper soon confirmed my suspicions that with all the Kahawai hitting anchovy in shallow the snapper would be picking off meals from underneath.
We continued to explore some of the northern coastline then concluded our day with some casts of a 7 weight floating line on a Sage “Salt” rod and a very lightly weighted fly. The first cast with the floating line over some visible reef produced a flash of red and a snapper to introduce James to my “Mooching” technique.
Day Two was all about kingfish.
We did not catch one but I got to share an incredible sight with a great guy and excellent angler. Multiple kings moved around the shallow flats entirely focused on baby flounder once again ignoring our flies. James had a full understanding for the unique and special event and the exciting frustration of trying to figure out how to connect these particular fish to eat our flies. It would have been the same set of feelings the first anglers experienced when targeting Permit,Tarpon or Bonefish in the tropics. To have this around the waters of Waiheke within view of the city is an amazing thing.
Our wine advisor was called and invited to join us at Cable bay for lunch number two. Sandwiches were once again left neglected and uneaten in the boat as we shared an array of good food and a Cable Bay Waiheke Reserve Chardonay.
Being the responsible skipper I enjoyed a small glass.